50 Delhi Schools Get Help Preparing for Disasters

Honeywell Safe Schools takes a comprehensive approach to safety

When an earthquake struck western India in 2001, hundreds of children died when schools toppled due to poor structural designs, lack of earthquake preparedness, and an inability to respond and evacuate safely. 

To avoid a repeat of this disaster, the Honeywell Hometown Solutions India Foundation (HHSIF), with its not-for-profit partner Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS), launched Honeywell Safe Schools in Delhi’s East district, which is located on the floodplains of a high-risk seismic zone. Fifty schools will undergo an audit and non-structural remediation to be made disaster-safe. This will involve a structural assessment of each school by engineers and architects; evaluation of risk perception among children, teachers, and parents; and examination of preparedness in the face of any natural or manmade disaster.



Honeywell Safe Schools
is based on the findings of a study in Delhi to understand school safety and the community’s perception towards risks. Alarmingly, respondents were more aware of day-to-day stresses like road accidents and bullying, than of life threatening, largescale natural disasters. None of the parents surveyed even recalled natural disasters as something to worry about. While many (55 percent) blamed government response systems for losses during disasters, most (99 percent) were unaware of any of the helpline numbers to these response systems! 

Honeywell Safe Schools
(Left to right): Anshu Sharma, co-founder & secretary, SEEDS; Sangita Ghalay, head-CSR, Honeywell India, Manu Gupta, founder & executive director, SEEDS; Vikas Chadha, president, Honeywell India; Kamal Kishore, member, NDMA; Kulanand Joshi, district magistrate, East District, Delhi

The study also helped identify 50 most vulnerable schools in Delhi, which will be the focus of Honeywell Safe Schools, our newest corporate social responsibility (CSR) program that takes a comprehensive approach to school safety. Experts from SEEDS will work with 25,000 students, 40,000 parents, 1,000 teachers, and surrounding communities to train them in disaster-preparedness.
  
Vikas Chadha, President, Honeywell India, said, “As a global technology leader in safety, we transform the way people live, work, and travel every day. It is a natural extension to bring our understanding of home and building safety to bear on communities we work and live with. It is also a natural partnership with SEEDS – a not-for-profit organization globally recognized for their subject matter expertise in all three steps to disaster mitigation – preparedness, response, and recovery.”



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